A recent study by IMS Research, “The World Market for Smart Meters — 2010,” forecasts a surging radio frequency- (RF-) Mesh market in the United States, while powerline carrier (PLC) shipments are expected to dramatically increase in Europe and Asia. Current market projections from IMS Research anticipate more than 100% market growth in 2010 in smart electricity meter unit shipments for both RF-Mesh and high-speed PLC meters, led by North America and Europe, respectively.

The market for communicating electricity meters in North America has seen record growth during the past year, with 2009 shipments exceeding 8-million units, of which one-third were RF Mesh. However, 2010 is expected to see well over 7-million unit shipments of RF-Mesh meters alone, raising the product share of RF-Mesh in communicating meters to more than 50% in North America.

Large rollouts in Europe (namely Spain and France) are anticipated to more than double PLC-style shipments in the near-term. “These expected rollouts in Europe will give the market a surge beginning in late 2010, with further market volume realized globally as anticipated PLC shipments of smart meters begin in China in 2012, and onwards,” says Senior Analyst Michael Markides. “Past the known installations upcoming in Spain and France, what is quite interesting is what type of technology will be used in other parts of Europe which must adopt smart metering. It appears Ireland will head toward using RF-style solutions, but what about the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands? Solutions other than PLC are in play here due to more complicated and layered electric utility structures in each of these regions.”

Source: IMS Research